Scott Gets Fit
I ran my second 5K race ever yesterday! You can read all about my first experience in 2008 (so young!) on this very blog. Mayor Nutter (who was the mayor of Philadelphia at the time) was there, and I met him so that was cool. And Marisa took what is my favorite picture of the day:
That's me pointing to the Mayor's back. How security didn't escort me away I'll never know.
Much like my first 5K experience, signing up for this one was something of an impulsive decision. I wanted to support the cause of getting rid of colon cancer in my mom's memory so it seemed like a good idea. Of course, I hadn't actually ran outside, or really at all, for months and months and months before I signed up.
I had been doing an hour on the elliptical for several months, so I didn't think it would be too bad to get back into the running habit. To train I went out and did exactly what you aren't supposed to do: I ran a 5K run to see how it would feel.
Reader, I ran my fastest 5K ever! At this point I considered becoming a professional runner, but the benefits aren't great.
A week later, I ran another 5K and BEAT my previous time again!
Then we went on vacation and I ran along the coast of Oregon… and didn't beat my record. However, I did get chased by a couple of dogs so that was fun.
I ran a few more times in Philadelphia and before I knew it race day was upon me. Marisa, sadly, was off being famous so she couldn't be there. My brother and his girlfriend came down to watch me race (though they weren't there at the start, since really it isn't that exciting. And due to a coffee mishap they missed me crossing the finish line, but it is the thought that counts!).
I showed up, pinned my number to my t-shirt and waited. I hate being late for things, so I was an hour early for the race. I could have helped myself to some snacks… but I don't eat before I run since I imagine myself vomiting along the route (this is also why I don't eat before public speaking).
I’m ready to run this 5k! pic.twitter.com/EznWtuMMvP— Scott McNulty (@blankbaby) September 9, 2017
Since I had so much time on my hands I checked out the giant colon:
Only the finest 5k races feature giant inflatable colons. pic.twitter.com/Ae61rCfU9f— Scott McNulty (@blankbaby) September 9, 2017
Soon it was time to start the race. I was surrounded by people in much better shape than me (some of whom were wearing nothing but their underwear. I was wearing the pair of boxers they gave to runners [it was an undy run] over my running shorts… doubly secured).
And off I went! My goal for this race was simple: pace myself. During my practice runs I was so excited to be running outside that my first mile would be super fast (well, for me) and then the second mile would be slower, and the third mile would be me jogging/walking and hating life.
I didn't want to walk at all during the 5K, and I didn't want to expend all my energy during the first mile. How did I do?
Check out my Runkeeper stats:
I am very proud of how darn consistent I was able to keep my pacing. How did I manage it? Well, I had set Runkeeper to tell me my pace at 1 mile intervals, which really meant that I couldn't adjust at all. Before the race I set it to alert me every .5 mile (which I didn't think would be too annoying) and it worked like a charm.
Now, when I registered for the race I had two fears:
- I would be the fattest person running.
- I would come in dead last.
I'm happy to report that only one of those fears was true, which made the fact that the second didn't come true all the sweeter.
Sure, I was the biggest guy running (lots of people did the fun walk) but I wasn't the slowest person. Hurrah for me!
Now, I was very far from being the fastest person but I did come in 9th in my age group (104th overall). That's something.
The run itself was pretty good. I made sure to run along the far edge of the road so people could easily pass me (since I wasn't running very fast). We ran 1.5 miles one way, turned around, and ran back.
The way out was great. I was chugging along. Passing some people, having some people pass me. No big deal. Then I turned the corner, passed the water station (no water for me, thanks. Don't want to vomit) and ended up behind 3 teenage girls walking side by side on the race route. It was clear that they were friends since they were chatting amongst themselves. No big deal, but they were blocking the entire half of the road. I sped up, swerved around them and passed them.
No big deal.
Well, having seen an old fat guy pass them they decided they needed to speed up themselves and so they passed me. And kept running. Until they started walking again. And, you guessed it, I had to pass them again since I was running at a consistent speed.
Once again, they saw this… and decided to run pass me again.
And then they started walking side by side again.
So I passed them, again.
And this was with about .7 miles left, so I was pretty sure they would run past me and beat me to the finish line… but I didn't see them again.
Therefore I assume I beat them. Take that, teenage girls who I am sure have no memory of me even being there!
According to the race chip I ran the 5K in 31:39 which gave me an average pace of a 10 minute 11 second mile (3 times in a row!).
And then I ate two bananas and drank all the water:
I am done! My fastest 5K yet. And thanks to everyone who donated! Plus there were free bananas! pic.twitter.com/SfKHjDfILn— Scott McNulty (@blankbaby) September 9, 2017
When I ran my last 5K (9 years ago) it took me 33:03, so I improved without really trying. Hurrah for me.
And a much bigger hurrah to everyone who donated to the cause. I was almost the top fundraiser for the race (I was bet by $75 but I'm ok with that).
2 weeks ago I blogged about hitting the treadmill again, and yesterday I hit a milestone:
I want to get 3 miles in 30 minutes. Slowly, slowly I go!
I used to run 3 miles in 30 minutes not that long ago. Getting back on that pace. Slowly but surely.
I've been hitting the gym 4-5 times a week again. Doing cardio only for the time being, but I am going to start lifting some weights soon.
Loyal readers of Blankbaby will know that over the last couple of years I've had an on again, off again relationship with the gym. It is on again (and I'm shedding pounds left and right), which is a very good thing.
I'm lucky enough to have a gym that I can use both where I work (in the lovely Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia) and where I live (also in Center City, Philadelphia). As of late I've been using the gym at home which requires me to take the elevator down to the 5th floor dressed in my gym clothes, and then back up to the 20th floor after my work-out (and I'm drenched in sweat at this point).
Yesterday I got on the elevator wearing my gym shorts and an Iconfactory t-shirt. I was happy to find the elevator empty, sadly it stopped on the 11th floor and a young person who lives in my building (which is a rarity... Marisa and I are amongst the youngsters in the building!) got on with her parents who I assume were visiting. The mother turned to me, looked me up and down and said, "Are you going to the gym?"
I thought for a moment and responded, "Yes, yes I am."
"Oh, I only ask because my daughter is trying to get them to buy new treadmills."
That is a worth endeavor, and one which I support, so I replied, "Keep up the good fight!" and got off the elevator.
40 minutes later I was done with my work-out (I generally do 35 minutes on the elliptical and I'm slowly adding on some treadmill time... 5 minutes is my starting point and I'll work my way back to were I was several months ago) and I was dripping with sweat (as a fat man should be after he works out).
I pressed the up button so I could get home and hop in the shower. The elevator arrives and two little old ladies are standing there. I nod to them and get on.
After a moment one of the little old ladies turns to me and says, "Did you have a good workout?"
"Yes, I did!"
She smiled and looked away. That's when I noticed the other little old lady was giving me the once over. It looked like she wanted to say something to me, and sure enough she did.
Quote little old lady number two, "You need a good work out!"
This is, of course, the truth and yet I have been working under the assumption that we, as people, operate with a certain social contract. When you see an ugly person you don't go up to them and say, "Geez, what's up with your ugly face?" and then you're riding the elevator with a fat guy (like, oh, say me) who is covered in sweat you don't point out that he needs to work out. It is assumed that the sweaty fat guy, who JUST WORKED OUT, knows that he needs to continue working out.
Now little old lady number two was staring at me, waiting for a reply. I quickly glanced up and saw we were at the 14th floor. Too many floors to go without responding... but what could I do? The first thing I thought of saying was, "You need to shut up!" but I rejected that.
I ended up saying the only thing that I could. I chuckled and said, "That's true!" and spent the rest of the elevator ride avoiding eye contact with either of them.
Is it any wonder that I'm a hermit?
I'm almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule for my Lose It or Lose It challenge. Not too shabby, sadly, getting ahead doesn't really help with Lose it or Lose It because I still have to lose another 3 pounds this week (and it just so happens to be Thanksgiving!).
I'm pretty sure I can knock off a few pounds this week, even with Turkey day. I'll be going to the gym tomorrow, perhaps Wednesday morning, and definitely Saturday and Sunday so it should be too much of a bother.
More like Scott Gets Fat! See what I did there?
My all time low was 281.1 way back in August of 2007. That's 2 frickin years ago! Sadly, I've gained some weight back since then and I know exactly why:
- I stopped going to the gym regularly
- I fell back into bad eating habits (more on that in a minute)
- I wrote two books
See, when I'm writing a book I tend to forget about everything else (including watching my weight). It is fine, really, since I can eat whatever I want, gain a few pounds, but know that once I'm done I'll go back to the gym and eating sensibly and all will be fine.
That's not what happened.
Despite finishing my latest book (which I hear will be available for purchase soon) I didn't go back to the gym. I continued to have a couple of sweet treats a day (if one sweet treat is good, isn't 3 so much better?). The end result is that I've gained back about 40 pounds of weight, which makes me a little sad.
However, now that I am getting married in just a few weeks I have motivation to get back on the getting fit bandwagon. Today marks the start of phase 1 of the South Beach diet (NO! CARBS! 'Til the wedding!) and I am back to hitting the gym. In fact, I am going to see if I can't go to the gym every day from now until September 26th (we'll see if I can keep that up, but I will go at least 5 times a week).
I've lost this weight before, and I know I can do it again (at least I'm still well below my heaviest and my clothes still fit.. which is important!).
The key to success, at least for me, is having a goal. I don't know how much weight I can reasonably lose before the wedding, so I am setting a goal of 50 pounds in 6 months. That seems more than reasonable to me and it'll bring me 10 pounds below my best weight!
Here's to getting fit... again!
Anyway, I'm back on the bandwagon and I weighed myself yesterday: 282.6 pounds, which is so close to my low of 281.1 (taking into account I stopped going to the gym and ate whatever the heck I wanted for the last few months this is good. I was probably about 297 a month ago. Hurrah for the gym!).
Stay tuned for more Scott Gets Fits posts, because darn it losing weight is fun!
It has been a good long while since I've posted about my whole getting fit thing. I hopped on the old scale today at the gym and I am clocking in at 281.7. Not the lightest I have ever been, but I'm only off that by .3 pounds, so I think I can deal with that.
More importantly I ran 2 ten minute miles back to back today, which was lots of fun (I actually ran 21 minutes at a rate of 6.1 mph, but who is counting?).
I feel better than I ever have, I look better than I have in a long while, and on top of all that it is Christmas time, which always makes me happy.
Everything is coming up McNulty!
This thing still on? Hello?
Ok, so I haven't been blogging much as of late on this old blog (ok, it has been a few months!) and there is a reason for that... I haven't been going to the gym as much. Now, I know what you're going to say, "Scott, have you given up?"
Never! I think it is crucial, though, not to let this weight lose thing get in the way of me living my life, and life has been pretty good and very busy.
Luckily, things have quieted down and I am back at the gym and you'll never guess that I have been doing there. That's right, I've been running on the treadmill for 26 minutes (doing about 2.3 miles, not too shabby).
Yes, I've gained a couple of pounds but I am still on the road to fitness.
Oh the horror, I've gained .2 pounds! Ok, so I am not upset by this in the least. Why? because two tenths of a pound is nothing, NOTHING I say! I've still lost over 100 pounds, and that's all that matters.
Plus I ate a punch of crap this week (not literally) and I had pasta last night for the first time in a long while (it was good, and it tasted even better after the 2 rolls I had).
Has it really been almost a month since I have blogged on Scott Gets Fit? So it would seem. While I have been neglecting this blog I haven't been neglecting the Scott Gets Fit project, and today's weight in proves it. I was dreading going to the gym today, but I convinced myself to get my ass off the couch and get to it, and boy am I glad I did.
281.1. 281.1! That's how much I weighed when I got on the scale today. You know what that means, I've lost 102 pounds (or so) in less than a year (ok, not much less than a year but still!). I'm ahead of the schedule I set for myself a month and a half ago. I'm excited to say the least.
I think my metabolism is gearing up or something.
You know what this means? Only 3.1 more pounds and I will have lost 100 pounds since I started this crazy adventure. It is hard to believe that not so long ago I was weighing in at 383 and looked like this. I look back at these pictures and I am shocked that I didn’t do anything about my weight sooner, however, that isn’t the point of this. No need to worry about what I didn’t do, but rather concentrate on what’s working for me:
- working out regularly (with some great folks)
- eating better (I am not doing the South Beach Diet anymore, but I am applying principles that I learned doing it, and I am eating some of the things that they suggest on a regular basis)
- actively thinking about my health
All of those points are important, but the last one has had the most impact. It is really very easy to slide back into my old habits of eating too much and moving too little. Thanks to this blog (which is a manifestation of my thinking about these issues, even if I don’t write too much on here) I am able to keep myself on the straight and narrow.
Let’s be real though, I’m not starving myself. This whole losing weight thing would be a mess if I changed my life in an unsustainable way. I have thought about going vegetarian, but that would just set me up for failure (I love me some steak), but eating more vegetables is something I can, and am, doing.
Life is all about being honest with yourself and knowing your limits. I’m not particularly strong willed, but I am able to follow routines. I have used my routine following skills to my advantage (going to the gym 5 times a week and doing the same thing every time might strike some as boring, but it strikes me as the way to a thinner, happier, and handsomer Scott) and replaced my old ruts with healthier ones.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a body that weighs 97 pounds lighter than it did 11 months ago and that’s good enough for me.
Another week, another 2 pounds down.
Where does it all go?
The last few weeks have been hectic for me. You know what that means, life intrudes on the Fitness Journey. You don't eat right, you skip the gym more often, and you feel like crap.
Luckily, I was able to get back on track last week and I have lost another 2 pounds (after gaining back a few pounds... which I will admit I skipped recording on here).
It is a cliche, I know, but getting fit is a marathon, not a sprint. I'll be dealing with this crap for rest of my very long (I hope) life.
Oh, and I have decided that it would be really great if I could get to the 100 pound mark by August 16th (which would coincide with the first entry here on Scott Gets Fit).
6.6 pounds in about 8 weeks? I can totally do that.
It has been a few weeks since I weighed in (Joe is doing a much better job of posting his weigh ins on schedule.. yet another instance in which Joe is better than I am! Damn you, Joe!).
Anyway, enough of that! I have lost 91 pounds so far. That's pretty incredible. You know what else is incredible? What I am doing at the gym. I go 5 times a week and do the following:
- 4.5 miles (or so) on the elliptical (that's 30 minutes on the damn machine)
- 8 minutes on the treadmill (which is about .75 miles at the pace I go)
- some light strength training, very very light but it is a start
I'm turning into some sort of gym regular or something.
Yep, I gained a tiny bit. There are a few things to consider though:
- The gym was closed for most of the week, so I only went 3 times
- I ate like crazy! Ice cream, cake, muffins... you name it I ate it.
Therefore, I take this tiny gain as an indication that I am on the right track! Hurrah!
Another week of hitting the gym, and another 4 pounds less of Scott to love. Where does it all go?
Exercise, the bane of every fat man’s existence. I have been successfully shedding pounds, and I make no bones about the fact that exercise has been the key to it all. Sure, I have been eating a little better, but I have been working out like a mofo.
Over the last 8 months I have been doing one thing at the gym, the elliptical. I started off barely being able to stay on the damned thing for 5 minutes, and now… drum roll please… I am doing 30 minutes on the elliptical 5 times a week. Let me tell you, I ain’t strolling along on that damned thing either, I’ve been doing at least 4 miles in those 30 minutes. It really makes a guy sweat (and fat guys sweat with the best of ‘em).
The other day Joe was at the gym, pursuing his Joe Gets Fit Plan, and he challenged me to a treadmill race. A race! No man worth his salt can refuse a man to man challenge and despite my many misgivings about the treadmill, which included:
- I just spent 30 minutes going 4 miles on an elliptical machine, would this be pushing it?
- When I first starting doing the elliptical machine it frightened the crap out of me. Would I fall off of it? Would I hurt myself? Imagine those fears amplified several times. The elliptical isn’t a giant conveyor belt of Doom. I have seen more than my fair share of treadmill launched iPods smashed against the cruel, unforgiving gym floor. Imagine me in the place of that iPod, and you can imagine what I was thinking.
- Running, what’s it good for?
I accepted Joe’s challenge. With a little help I figured out how to operate the treadmill and I jogged a little (I won’t say who won the race, but I did).
That, dear readers, is how a few minutes on the treadmill has entered into the official Scott Gets Fit training regimen. At the moment I am only doing 5 minutes on the treadmill (after 30 minutes on the elliptical) but soon enough I’ll be running for longer and longer.
I never thought 2 tenths would make me a very happy man, but it has. Today I found myself at the gym and on the scale and a big thing happened. I am (or was) less then 300 pounds for the first time in well over a decade.
This is huge (and I am not as huge as I once was!).
Who would have thought that diet and exercise would have such a positive impact on my life. Someone really needs to get the word out about that stuff.
I just realized it has been a little over a week since I posted my last weight. I just jumped on the scale, averting my gaze to avoid making eye contact with naked men in the locker room, and I am at 307.8.
That's one more pound down! Of course that number doesn't tell the story of my weekend, which involved many things I knew I shouldn't eat but I wanted to eat, and so I ate. Diet is key to this whole effort, but when I started this I knew I wouldn't be successful if I beat myself up every time I ate 4 gallons of ice cream in one sitting (I mean, who doesn't do that from time to time?). Therefore, I am not making food the enemy, I am merely avoiding food that has lots of calories, most of the time.
It is amazing to me, though, how much my eating habits have changed over the last several months. I'm not as hungry as I once was but I am taking part in lots more activities. I can't explain it, but I likes it!
5ish (4.8 to be exact) more pounds until I hit my first goal.